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Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas: Popular Expressions-What They Mean and How We Got Them Hardcover – September 30, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1606521717 ISBN-10: 1606521713 Edition: 0th

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Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas: Popular Expressions-What They Mean and How We Got Them + An Apple a Day: Old-Fashioned Proverbs --Timeless Words to Live By + I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Judy Parkinson is a graduate of Bristol University. She is a producer of documentaries, music videos, and commercials, and won a Clio award for a Greenpeace ad. Parkinson has published four books and has contributed to a show of life drawings at the Salon des Arts, Kensington. She lives in London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606521713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606521717
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I was very interested in this book because my Husband is 10 years older than me.
C. Hamilton
I recommend it for anyone who enjoys learning about the things that we say, but often take for granted.
Kayla
Definitely one of the most entertaining reference books I've had the privilege of picking up.
Karielle @ Books à la Mode

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Hamilton VINE VOICE on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was very interested in this book because my Husband is 10 years older than me. He is constantly saying all of these expressions that I have never heard of. Honestly, I think he makes some up to toss in there. Now, I have a reference guide! Next time he says an old saying I can look it up and know more about it than he does.

Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas has all of these sayings organized in alphabetical order (with an index at the back to browse or find a page quickly). Under each saying there is an explanation of the expressions origin. It was really interesting learning where some of these wacky phrases came from.

I was actually surprised at how many of these expressions I already knew: Easy as Pie, Basket Case, Beat Around the Bush, Heebie Jeebies, On Cloud Nine, etc. Now I know even more about quirky cliché expressions than my Husband!

This would be a fantastic coffee table book. It is definitely a conversation starter and something that your guests would enjoy browsing. A lot of these expressions have survived decades. They are not going anywhere, so you might as well learn about them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Wheeler on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a little surprised that this little book has had such good reviews here so far.

I made the mistake of first listening to it (or trying to) in the audiobook format, the author's fixation with dates throughout the text makes it very disjointed in this format - I have a daily commute for about an hour each way so get through more audio than print these days but this was just unpleasant to listen to.

I've since thumbed through it in book form - a big improvement. Trust me, this is one book that doesn't work as audio...

But that's not my main reason for only giving it two stars. Parkinson, in one section, relates the 'origin' of the saying 'Enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey'. Rather doing any research, she just rehashes the old myth about cannonballs and brass deck plates - a simple wikipedia search could have put her right on this and there was an excellent explanation of it given by Stephen Fry in one of his radio essays (Fry's English Delight).

Of course, anyone can make a mistake, but when the mistake is a sloppy is this one it casts doubt on the quality of research in rest of the book, leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kayla on November 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Can you ever have enough reference books? I don't think so.

Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas: Popular Expressions--What They Mean and How We Got Them by Judy Parkinson is a great book that lists many of the expressions we hear and use on a daily basis without knowing where they originated. It is extremely interesting to know the origins of these expressions. It's amazing to learn how an expression can transcend time and become a part of everyday modern life.

The book has a sturdy hardcover binding with an attractive vintage looking floral as the background. The expressions are listed in alphabetic order, allowing you to sift through and find exactly what you're looking for. There is also an index in the back for a quick and easy way to browse the expressions.

I recommend it for anyone who enjoys learning about the things that we say, but often take for granted.

I received this book for free from FSB associates in exchange for my honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MyParenTime.com VINE VOICE on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When asked if we'd like to review another Reader's Digest Blackboard book, we could not resist. This series of books has provided us with information we never thought of, and is so interesting to read about.

In this book, "Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pajamas," you'll be fascinated by all the expressions that we use in our everyday lives, and learn how they came to be. For instance, the expression "Sleep tight," which is another way of saying good night and sleep well, dates back to when beds were made of rope and they needed to be tightened each night before sleeping. Another expression, "On cloud nine," comes from terminology used by the U.S. Weather Bureau. "Cloud nine" is cumulonimbus, a cumulus cloud that develops very high in the sky. So, being "on cloud nine" came to mean being in a state of elation (very happy), or feeling "as high as a kite."

MyParenTime.com highly recommends this Blackboard Book by Reader's Digest -- like the other books in the series, it's interesting, informative, and contains content that the reader could use in their everyday lives. It's also a great conversation starter!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dt2008 on April 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought "A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi" while on vacation in England, and I was pleased to see the US also has this series of informative English-language books! I got this one as a gift for a friend who speaks English as a second language, and I am sure it will be loved.

There are cute doodles and the terms chosen are ubiquitous enough that it will be useful to both native and second-language-learner speakers of English. The binding is very sound, but the cover is a waxy feel hardback, not at all like the lovely, natural cloth binding from the UK-versions of the series--this was slightly disappointing.

On a side note, this a great "coffee table" book.
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